Wednesday, August 27, 2014

following the money⁓one tiny question…maybe a few answers

…Ana Spiro started this with a not so tiny question on the adj-l listserv, one so often asked — punctuated by a reaction we all share;
How many schools are spending untold amounts on athletics and cheating the adjuncts who credential /educate the students? The money is there (spent on presidents, various non instructional staff, construction and landscaping and other projects—not teachers, books and learning!) 
Who hasn't read about the mind-boggling excesses and studies, looked at graphs and other visualizations? We get (digital) front row seat following campaigns like UA Convergence complete with press coverage, protests, a petition and first rate street theater. Our adjunct heroes!

But what about others? Anna's question draws us away from both overarching (and overwhelming) big picture and the stunning exemplary tale. How can we learn about what lies in between — not big picture stats and charts but individual examples  —  and make use of our own as well as UA has?

Already list-serv members are sharing links on the public compensation sites that many (most?) states have: California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas. Please add yours. Also suggested were the more familiar, less official and substantially less rigorous CAW and Adjunct Project databases.

In addition to the ever (and perhaps over) cited higher ed media and major HE orgs, other usual suspects (mostly blogs) for being more reliable sources include but are not limited to Audrey Watters (Hack Education), Tressie MC, Jonathon Rees (More or Less Bunk), and Sarah Kendzior (@SarahKendzior).

Although not contingent faculty focused, Margaret Soltan's University Diaries regularly covers athletic department and other institutional excesses ~ not all scandals are fiduciary. Nor does she limit herself to athletics. Entries are short and always linked to her primary source. UD covers other aspects of higher education institutions and academic culture, albeit from a tenured perspective.

For higher ed money/funding news round-up, follow Ray Schroeder's Recession Realities in Higher Education ~ very much a news aggregation blog on this single topic and, like UD, short and linked to . You'll learn a lot about other parts of the country too. If from an overlooked outlier state, your state's woes won't go unnoticed here.

More alt-ac, Bryan Alexander frequently writes on edtech, "peak higher education" (you've heard of "peak oil"?) and "Queen's Sacrifice" ⁓ among other drastic changes facing higher ed and academic labor. Don't let tunnel vision — not agreeing with him about technology and other HE change — keep you from following. Bryan was already on the "neither fish nor fowl"blogroll, which reminded me to add the others. The title alone is worth a future blog post. It could even be the start of an answer to the "Whither U?" implied in "Rethinking College."

Ed note: by all means, let me add myself while I'm at it. Here's my signature line for signing off from the adj-l listserv: ❝precarious faculty blog, part of an independent information network "broadcasting" online from remote, isolated, rural Mountainair NM since 2000.❞ 

I don't have a regular signature line: no telling what the next temp one will be, but it will still emphasize ❛network❜ and ❛information❜ to counter misguided attempts to classify this whatever-I-do as an ❛organization❜

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